My thoughts on food waste | How to limit food waste | Masterpost

Something i have noticed alot of online is the amount of food waste that is due to example different video ideas…. Such as making shoes out of sandwiches, making freak shakes which the people just throw away later because they become so inedible. Or just buying a bunch of food which just doesn’t seem to be eaten up, of couse I can never know… they may give the food away, but sometimes they say that the food has gone cold and they are just going to throw it away.

And it just all feels so unnecessary…. And of course there is nothing that one person, like myself, can do about it. Instead there just needs to be more awareness about food wastage and how unnecessary it is. Especially when it comes to things like just wasting food for the sake of a video.

There is food wastage everywhere and if I am honest the biggest problem is big companies such as food stores, restaurants, school, factories where the food is made. That is where the most food goes to waste. I work at a store and it is crazy how much food we throw away each DAY. I wrote a post about it HERE (along with some facts and thoughts about food wastage), if you want to check it out.

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But as individuals we can all do our best to try to limit our food wastage.

I have some meal ideas for limiting food wastage, HERE. & Some tips for what to do with food leftovers! & another post: what to do with leftovers

But I thought I would give some more tips on how to limit how much food you throw away.

Let’s start off with, that everyone has some foodwastage, it is hard not to end up with some food wastage each week or month.

Sometimes you buy food that is already moldy and there is no way to save it. Othertimes you don’t manage to eat the fresh produce fast enough before it turns to go off and mold. And othertimes there may be crosscontamination or the risk of bacteria on the food which means you have to throw it away… and othertimes maybe you burn the food, drop the food or anything else that means you can’t eat the food and have to throw it away.

However, we can all do our part to try to limit the amount of food we throw away, and the first step is:

Tips to limit food wastage:

Planning your groceries and meals so that you don’t buy an excess of fresh produce which you might not be able to eat throughout the week.

Buying frozen food can be a good way to both save money and stop food from going moldy before you manage to eat it. You can read more about the nutrition differences between fresh and frozen food (Hint, there isn’t a huge difference!). Post HERE.

By planning your meals you both save money buy also just buy the food you know you will eat so that you don’t have food just sitting in your fridge. Another option is that if you do cook an excess amount of food, then you can freeze it in for later.  That’s what I do whenever I cook too much of something and know that I may not want to eat only that food for the whole week. It is perfect for the days you don’t feel like, or don’t have time to cook!

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Get better at using up what you have at home before buying more. Sometimes you end up with just a tiny bit of rice or two potatoes, or barely a portion of pasta left and many people have the automatic response to just thor wthose away (from what I have noticed from friends or family). But don’t… instead get creative and making something out of those small remainders. Or…. You could just use that amount when cooking and not leave just a tiny bit left, hahah.

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Practical tips are: If you have a little coffee left, you can pour it into ice cubes and make frozen coffee later. The same goes with example fresh herbs/lemon/mint/lime, so that you can later add to water to make flavoured water.

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If you have a bunch of vegetable scraps left, turn then into your own vegetable broth.

Vegetable peels: You can even turn vegetable peels into chips.. but then just make sure you really scrub and clean then as they could have pesticides or soil on them which you don’t want to ingest in too high amounts. (Home made vegetable crisps: recipe)

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Fruit going bad? If you have left over bananas, slice them and freeze them. – The same goes for other fruit or berries… if they are beginning to go bad, just place them in the freezer to make smoothies later on. (Of course, this also means you have to have a food processer or blender to make the smoothies/nice cream.) Otherwise, if it is apples, pears, nectarines that are beginning to go bad, you can always bake them or fry them and add to oatmeal….. Or why not make a pie out of them if you have time and ingredients for it.

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Maybe you have a little cooked rice or roasted vegetables left which have gone dry…. Then you can refrey them (of course, you should be careful with rice as it is a risk that bacteria can grow in rice. So if you havenät eaten rice within 48 hours I would throw away… however if it was placed in the fridge right away and not left standing in room temperature it might be ok. But typically reheating, cooling and reheating rice over and over isn’t recommended).

How to save fresh salad in packages? I recently learned a tip that once you open a pacakge of fresh salad, example spinach in a plastic bag, take some householdpaper, fold it 2 times (to a little square) and place in the corner of the spinach bag… this will soak up the extra moisture and keep the spinach fresh!

Buying ingredients/food that doesn’t go bad – i.e limiting fresh produce if you don’t have time to eat them. Just buy the food you will eat… i.e if you know you won’t be eating the fruit or vegetables, don’t buy them… I know many who buy fresh produce just in the *hopes* of actually eating them because they have bought them, but week after week throw away the food anyway. Don’t be that person. Either eat the food, or don’t buy it.

Another tip to save food and limit waste is storing food correctly. If you store food in too high or too low temperatures it can make the food (fresh produce) go bad/rot quicker… so make sure to store the food correctly!

 

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Best before vs use by date?

Typically, you can still eat food after the best before date… it just means that the taste or texture *may* be a little off/different, not always… but it is still safe to eat. Just do the smell, look, taste test… your senses should be able to tell you whether it is still ok to eat or not 🙂 But you shouldn’t eat food after the use by date, as then it may not be safe to eat due to bacteria or other risks. Especially when it comes to meat.

Going out to eat? If you don’t finish your meal, ask for a goodie bag/take away. If you don’t want to finish the food at home anyway… ask for a takeaway bag and give to a homeless person (if possible).

Don’t waste aquafaba from canned chickpeas. I know it may seem silly, and i have to be honest, 50% of the time i just throw away this liquid as i know i won’t make anything with the aquafaba before it goes bad. But you can infact make quite alot with this liquid, RECIPES HERE. And i even have an upcoming recipe which is SUPER TASTY using aquafaba. So when you use chickpeas from a can, save that liquid and use the liquid in another dish… example works great in pancakes!

Got leftover bread? Freeze it. Otherwise… make your own bread crumbs or croutons or bread pudding or french toast casserole or if you have tortilla bread, make home made nachos.

Freeze in fresh herbs to use later in dishes. You can even grate the peel or orange, lemon, lime etc which you can later use in baked goods or other recipes. 

Or if you have garlic/chilli/ginger which is going bad, chop them up/grate and freeze in… makes it alot easier when you need them when cooking!

And finally…. food compost. I know not all households have the possibilty for this, but if you can…. do it! Sure, it may mean having to go compost the food every other day (or preferably less because *you don’t have so much food waste 😉 * , but it is much better for the planet!

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I know that the people who may need this post and reminder are the ones who most likely won’t be searching or reading this post…. but maybe to those of you who already are aware of minimizing food waste can remind others to do the same thing! 🙂 Even if we are just “One person”, it all adds up, and we can all make a small difference.

If everyone thought, “i am just one person, what does it matter”, then there would be no change happening in the world… because “just one person” adds up! 🙂

If you have any other tips to reduce food waste, or your thoughts regarding food waste, comment down below!!

Plastic Free July? | Tips & advice | privilege, practical, realistic?

It’s July, and i have noticed on social media there is a “campaign” talk about plastic free July.

I think it is great that we are bringing awareness about plastic and the need for everyone to decrease their use/consumption/buying of plastic. To use alternatives and to demand that products are packaged in other materials than plastic.

You can read more about plastic pollution crisis, HERE. I.e we all need to do something about this…. and if we as consumers show that we want products with less plastic and make active choices. For the sake of the climate and planet, but also for the animals as many animals and marine life are actually dying due to plastic pollution… but even our health is impacted due to the microplastics and BPA.

*This post contains affiliate links*

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I have written previous posts about plastic which may be interesting to read:
Aware but not obsessed? | Organic, plastic free, locally produced food?

Going plastic free – Realistic? Convenient? Practical?

Earth day 2018 – Plastic pollution & ways to minimize plastic use

Pre packaged and portion sized foods

Tips to minimize waste and plastic use

5 ways to minimize plastic use and help the environment

If i am honest, i am not someone who believes in 100% plastic free or zero waste. Even if i like the idea of it…. I just don’t think it is practical for anyone. Unfortunatly, our society uses plastic in SO MANY items… just like with being vegan, there seems to be animal products in almost everything. However, just because there is so much plastic doesn’t mean that it isn’t possible to make a change/difference and decrease your use of plastic.

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It just means some extra planning. You may also need to invest in things such as glass lunch boxes, Metal straws, reusable fresh produce bags, on the go coffee cups/thermos, glass jars,reusable utensils and the list goes on.

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You will also need to carry around an extra bag with you incase you need to buy something when you are out and don’t want to purchase a plastic bag. Of course, this is one of the simplest changes you can make… just buy a cheap cotton bag which you can always have in your bigger school/work/gym bag!

Bring your thermos/on the go coffee cup with you so that you don’t buy coffee out… but if you do have to buy coffee out, skip the plastic lid!

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I think it is great with the initiativ to decrease plastic use… how it is not always practical or possible for everyone.  There is plastic everywhere. And i am pretty sure i use and purchase items which contains plastic which i had no idea about.

But also …. going plastic free means you may need to invest in certain products/items before you can go fully plastic free. Not to mention, it may mean having to cut out ALOT OF different foods because they contain plastic. If i am honest… almost half the food i buy comes in some form of plastic packaging. When going plastic free you will most likely have to shop at stores which sell products that have very little or no plastic packaging… where you bring your own jars or use brown reusable bags to pack the fresh produce. However… alot of frozen food is then no longer an option. But frozen food (meaning frozen vegetables and fruit, not pizza and fries) which are often cheaper and last longer, arenät an option. But many people don’t actually eat up the fresh produce they buy and have to throw it away, meaning that it isn’t really better.

However… what you could do if you can afford it (and have the space in your freezer), is to buy big 1kg frozen vegetables instead of the small 200g/500g bags… because then you atleast minimize plastic in that way. 

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4 examples of plastic:

1 The lid and little inside “lid” in plantbased milks. (Note, cut the little “capsule/lid” when you thro them away so that wildlife don’t get caught in them/eat them)

2: Alot of the food i buy does have plastic… which i do want to become more aware of and limit – as i do have the possibility to do it at times.

3: Everything in that pesto came in a plastic pacakge… apart from the garlic

4: Eevn the glassfood boxes i bought came with plastic.

Also, you can’t forget that if someone is living on minimum wage the most important thing for them is to find some form of cheap food to be able to eat…. not whether it is plastic free, vegan or nutritious.

Going plastic free is a privelage in a sense… I live in Sweden and have the possibility as well as somewhat economical possibility to make choices. I can buy food in bulk and without plastic when possible. I can bring my own bag to the grocery store and invest in glasslunchboxes and metal staws. I can bring my own freshproduce bags and skip the plastic bag that is usually used when buying fruit and vegetables in bulk.

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I can choose between buying lentils in a cardboard package or plastic package. I can choose to not buy a food because it has lots of plastic packaging – because i know i can buy other food. I can take the time to walk/travel to another store just because they have more fresh produce which is loose/buy in bulk. Some months i can spend the extra money on making more plastic free choices. It is a privilige which not everyone has.

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However… i can’t avoid all plastic. It would not be possible for me to buy all my food plastic free. Not to mention, i take medication which i need daily that comes in/is packaged in plastic… there is no plastic free alternative.

I can of course make active choices when possible.

But what about disabled people… there are certain foods which may have extra packaging because it is easier for someone who is disabled.

I think when possible we should all try to limit plastic… example, does the product with a cardboard/nonplastic package cost 1dollar more than the option with plastic… then it is worth tat 1 dollar… according to me anyway.

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Can you skip the small portion packages of food and instead buy in bulk? Can you skip the Nescafe coffee capsules and instead use a coffee press/coffee beans? (in all honesty, i think these coffee capsules should be banned). Can you buy fresh produce in bulk using a paper bag or your own fresh produce bag? Can you buy the frozen berries in a cardboard pacakge instead of plastic pacakge? Can you skip the plastic lid when ordering coffee on the go?

 

Just because we can’t do something perfectly or can’t do it all… doesn’t mean we can’t try. Can’t go completely vegan? Well you can still eat as vegetarian as possible and not buy products with animals products (such as fur, leather, wool), as well as buying cruelty free. Can’t go completely plastic free? Well you can still decrease use of plastic when possible. Can’t go zero waste/minimalist? Well you can still try to limit waste and clutter when possible. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, 0 or 100. We can just do our best and what is possible.

I also think it is important for us all to ask ourselves… do we not make these changes because we don’t want to or because we can’t? There is a difference. Many people don’t even try to limit plastic or try to eat more vegetarian because they don’t want to… even if they can. Whereas there are many who are in situations where they actually can’t make those choices but might want to.

So if you are in a situation where you actually can make choices and changes that are better for the climate, planet, animals… then i think you should. It doesn’t have to make a huge impact in your life, but may make a huge impact for the planet and climate if everyone made those small changes.

You can read more about plastic and plastic pollution in the links below:

Plastic pollution in numbers

The worlds plastic pollution criss explained  *highly recommend you read*

100 steps to a plastic free life

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Aware but not obsessed? | Organic, plastic free, locally produced food?

The previous day i shared on my Instagram story wondering how people thought about

  1. buying local or knowing where the food they buy from actually comes from
  2. and also about organic vs. nonorganic, considering that organic food is often wrapped in plastic.

So recently i have begun thinking about these two topics. I was shocked when i began to read where some of the food i buy – mostly fresh produce – comes from. I.e i have never really thought about the fact that certain root vegetables which can be grown in Sweden, are still imported from other countries. This may of course be obvious for others.

Foods grown in sweden.

And of course i am aware that certain foods and fresh produce can’t be grown or produced in Sweden and so they are imported. If each country were to only sell locally produced food then there would only be like 1 or 2% of the food left in the stores and it would most likely not economically go together. Considering that important and export of food/produce creates alot of money.

Not to mention that you would never really get to try any new or different foods if you were to only buy and eat local foods.

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I also asked about peoples opinions on organic vs. non-organic produce. I buy organic when i can, but it is not my main priority when i go food shopping. I am not so worried about the pesticides on the inorganic produce. Now a days the toxicity/danger of consuming them is very little and has less environmental impact as they once did when they contained more dangerous substances. However, of course the organic pesticides or biorational pesticides have a lot less impact on the environment and less substances that may be unhealthy for humans.

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Of course it is all about dosage... the more fresh vegetables and fresh produce which have been sprayed with pesticides which you eat, the higher the dose. So if you eat alot of fresh produce then choosing organic may  be better. Example if you eat alot of raw food. But if you eat fruits and vegetables in a rather “average” way, then there doesn’t seem to be a risk or problem.

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However certain items such as bananas, coffee and chocolate, it is good to choose fair trade and organic for the sake of the workers, as the chemicals used on the inorganic are very dangerous and the working situations not good at all. So i try to buy fairtrade of these items when i can. And if organic food is just a little bit higher in price – but nothing extreme – then i will choose it when i can.

I do want to start becoming more aware of where the fresh produce i buy comes from. Especially when it comes to foods that can be grown in Sweden. I know that example avocados, bananas as well as beans and lentils can’t be grown or produced in Sweden, but i still want to eat them on a weekly basis.

Basically… i want to become more aware, but not obsessed.

Which brings me to the main point of this post.

For someone who has had a past with a restrictive eating disorder, it could be easy for me to become “too aware” or “too obsessed” and want to suddenly only eat local and organic vegan food. To begin cutting out food because i have become too aware. This of course is not the case.

I wrote about these topics because they were on my mind and something i never really considered before, and well it is something i want to think about and make more active choices when i can. But i won’t let it completely control my food choices or how i eat either.

In the end, eating imported lentils and beans has alot less environmental impact than eating meat or dairy, and that is what matter for me. I may not be able to eat the most environmentally friendly diet, but just eating plantbased/living vegan is enough for me. And the extra things like local and organic is when i can.

My aim is to not give anyone anxiety or put pressure on people to “be perfect” or always make the “best” choice. But instead to raise awareness, and from that awareness you can make your own choices. Just like with knowledge… if you don’t have the knowledge or awareness to make certain choices, then you won’t know. But if you have the knowledge and awareness then you can atleast make a choice.

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And like i said… you shouldn’t let these things control your life, especially not if you are/Have struggled with an eating disorder, then just eating is good enough. (Which is also one of the reasons i don’t recommend eating fully plant based if you are in recovery from an eating disorder, because the main thing is to just be able to eat without guilt or restrictions, and in the future when you are mentally and physically healthy you can begin to eat more plant absed if you still want to!).

This was just my thoughts on the topic, and if you have any thoughts regarding these topis comment down below!

Aluminium foil….what’s the big deal? |Health/environment impacts.

The past while i have had to use aluminium foil when baking or cooking. Or let me rephrase that: I ran out of baking paper and had aluminium foil at home so choose to use that instead of buying more baking paper, or investing in reusable baking mats.

I have then gotten several/quite a few messages telling me that using aluminium foil is bad. And i know it is…. but at the same time i don’t really. I have just heard it is not good, and i presume that it is because of the environmental impact and that you most often just use it once and then throw it away.

But i thought it was time that i finally sat down and researched, why aluminium foil isn’t good, and maybe that will make me invest in some reusable baking mats (which really aren’t expensive, so i don’t know why i don’t just buy them!).

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Fun fact before i get into this post. I have actually had an aluminium foil company quite adamentally message me about doing a cooperation and offering quite a huge sum of money for it….. but it hasn’t been something i have been willing to do a sponsored post about, hahaha.

So let’s get into the research and facts:

What is aluminium foil? “Aluminum foil, or tin foil, is a paper-thin, shiny sheet of aluminum metal. It’s made by rolling large slabs of aluminum until they are less than 0.2 mm thick.” (source)

Aluminium is found in small amounts in the air, soil, water and food as it is one of the most abundant metals on earth. Of course, how much you actually absorb varies – but is rather little and not deemed as a problem.

However, it seems that some of the aluminium in aluminium foil (or aluminium utensils) can leach into your food when cooking. Things like cooking at a higher teperature, cooking with acidic food and cooking with salt and spices increase the amount which can be absorbed/leached into the food. HOWEVER, it is still deemed safe by researchers to use aluminium foil – as it would be such tiny amounts that leach out. I.e the average use of aluminum foil is deemed as safe, and for normal healthy people their bodies can excrete the excess aluminium – if there is an excess.

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There seems to be speculation that aluminium could be linked to certain illnesses – but more research needs to be done to confirm a correlation.

There are certain ways you can avoid /minimize exposure to aluminum and that is:

  • Avoid high-heat cooking: Cook your foods at lower temperatures when possible.
  • Use less aluminum foil: Reduce your use of aluminum foil for cooking, especially if cooking with acidic foods, like tomatoes or lemons.
  • Use non-aluminum utensils: Use non-aluminum utensils to cook your food, such as glass or porcelain dishes and utensils.
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  • Using glass or porcelain when cooking can be a good option, and using reusable baking paper or parchment paper to wrap the food when possible.
  • If possible use recycled aluminium.

Also important, to not store food in their tins/cans once opened (something i do a little too often.)

What about aluminium and the environment?

“One ton of aluminum takes about 170 million BTUs to produce—about as much as 1,400 gallons of gasoline—and emits about 12 tons of greenhouse gases. It’s also very long-lasting, taking as much as 400 years to break down after it’s discarded (not to mention the fact that it’s heavier than other disposable wraps). All those factors contribute to the importance of recycling aluminum—something most of us do with cans, but for some reason fail to do with tinfoil. “ (source)

I must admit, i have never actually thought about recycling aluminum foil… and i don’t know why. But also, when i use tinfoil it always ends up all greasy and i have just thrown it in the trash. .But now i realise that may not be such a good thing to do.

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Is aluminium foil better than plastic?

To some extent yes, as it is reusable as well as doesn’t have BPA’s which can be found in plastic. From what i have read, neither are that great and it is better to go for other options such as glass jars or containers. It takes alot longer for plastic to deteriorate from our environment, so using aluminium foil would be better.

From my understanding of what i have read is that: No, aluminium foil may not be the best option but it is not the worst option either. And doesn’t have to be negative or lead to negative consequences – unless you were to maybe wrap your salted meat and tomatoes and grill them in high temperatures 3 times a day for 50years straight… then maybe there are health risks. But using it a few times a week there may not be any damaging health conseuqneces, not that research can show right now.

However, i would of course promote using other products instead, and my goal is to limit the amount of foil i use, primarily for the sake of the environment.

If anyone has any other tips or what to use instead of tinfoil, comment down below!

Black Friday – consumerism – fast fashion?

Black Friday….. or apparently, Black week according to all the emails i am getting. And getting emails from comapnies i didn’t even know i had signed up for.

If you have followed me for a while you would know that 1) i very rarely buy myself anything – that isn’t food. And if i do buy myself something it is because i have thought about it and “ok’d” it for the past several weeks or months. Or, because it is an emergency item i need.

2) money gives me anxiety. I have alot of money related anxiety, but i am getting better at this. And instead learning to be thankful that i have money and can buy things for myself, and learning to not feel guilty when i do buy things for myself. But i do hope that one day i can be more at peace with money and not let it give me so much anxiety.

So with this background information, i am sure you know where i stand with my opinion on black Friday.

But first off let me say…. i am not 100% against black Friday. As a student with a budget, i think it can be a good time to buy things which you *need* for a good price. If you buy things that you truly need, then it isn’t a bad thing.

But the problem is… people buy things just for the sake of it. Or just because the item is on sale. There is a whole lot of consumerism and crazy hype. And now it is not just 24 hours, but it seems to be a whole week with campaigns and sales. Make you buy things you didn’t even know you wanted or needed.

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I am not against people buying stuff, i mean how the economical system works (to some extent) is that people buy things. That there is a sale and demand. But the problem is…. people buy more than they need.

I am rather minimalistic… or i try to be as minimalistic as i can. Not buy things unnecessarily, and i don’t need a huge amount of clothes or items. I have a few items which is all i need. But i am not completely minimalistic, i do have more than necessary to some extent.

I am not saying you shouldn’t buy anything this black Friday. If there is a sale on something you really need, or if you need to buy presents for someone then it is a good time to save some money.

But just ask yourself WHY you are buying the items. Do you really need them? Even if it is a sale on certain items… is it necessary to buy them.

I think we should all take a look at our consumerism and also maybe look at if we can get rid of some old items.

Do you have clothes you can give away? Do you have several of the same items which you don’t need? Do you have old clothes which you have kept even though they don’t fit anymore? Can you give items away to charity?

Or why not give money to charity this Black Friday instead of spend it on items you may not need? Instead of buying… why not give away?

I am not perfect and as mentioned, i might buy things on sale… but it won’t be anything unnecessary or just for the sake of spending. I would much rather save up than spend on things i don’t actually need or want.

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Also something to think about is what stores you buy from, and to think about “fast fashion”, which you can read more about here.

“Fast Fashion’s impact on the planet is huge. The pressure to reduce costs and speed up production time means that environmental corners are more likely to be cut. Fast Fashion’s negative impact includes its use of cheap, toxic textile dyes – with the fashion industry the second largest polluter of clean water globally after agriculture.”

“. Polyester is one of the most popular fabrics. It’s derived from fossil fuels, contributing to global warming, and can shed microfibres that add to the increasing levels of plastic in our oceans when it’s put through a wash.”

“The constant speed and demand means there is also increasing stress on other environmental concerns such as land clearing, biodiversity and soil quality that may be at risk of drought.”

“Fast Fashion impacts garment workers, who have been found to work in dangerous environments, for low wages and without basic human rights.  Further down the supply chain, there are the farmers who may work with toxic chemicals that can have devastating impacts on their physical and mental health, a plight highlighted by the documentary The True Cost.

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Unfortunately, i am one of those who shops at fast fashion stores such as H&M. I don’t buy clothes so often, and when i do i just want to buy something cheap and basic. But i do want to try make more of an active choice to buy at better stores, or buy second hand. But i want to do my research first and see which stores are best.

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I would love to know your opinions on this topic, so feel free to comment below and we can discuss 🙂